Strobe/External Lighting in Virtual Tour  

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niddy
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Strobe/External Lighting in Virtual Tour

by niddy » Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:32 pm

A little off-topic, this question is regarding virtual tours more so than AutoPano.

I'm considering buying a Strobe Light or two to add additional lighting to some of my indoor virtual tour shoots. The lights would be placed off-camera behind a couch, cabinet, etc., and remain in the same place while I take all of the photos for that room.

Does anybody have experience with that, and if so, how were the results?

Thanks,

Patrick

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hankkarl
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by hankkarl » Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:38 pm

I have done that. Its a ton of work. If you do it right, it eliminates the need for HDR, but I find HDR is faster.

It can be very good if you have an exceptionally dark corner or closet. So it can be useful if you have experience with lighting and are on a high end shoot.

But most of the time HDR gives great results and is a lot faster.

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Castillonis
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by Castillonis » Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:12 am

I recommend that you use small external flash units / speed lights to create light from where it would naturally occur. It is not very practical to carry more than one to two strobes along with a lead acid battery pack. Look at the Amherst "Minimalist lighting" book or the McNally Hotshoe diaries to get some ideas. You should try and create lighting from where it occurs such as windows and possible light fixtures so that that it looks normal. There was a photo techniques magazine article last year that compared artificial lighting and HDR techniques for shooting real estate.

The problem with this type of work in the US is that if it is not a higher end client, they just want the photos to check off a box on their list. The realtors will almost always value low fees and a quick turn around over quality. The higher end clients are a better customer, but it takes time to develop these relations and the skills to keep them happy.

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by klausesser » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:24 pm

I always carry a Surefire-P9 flashlight fitted with a Cree-LED of daylight charakteristics in my camera bag.
If it HAS TO BE (very rarely ´cause i use HDR nearly always) it´s helpful because you can can see the light´s influence constantly and register immediately when it´s too much - in that case you put a small diffusor on it to dim the output.
The Surefire is very bright - but also very small (special ops and SWAT use it)

best, Klaus

very interesting btw:
http://www.zweibrueder.com/photolichtwelten/photolichtwelten_index.php?id=photo
Last edited by klausesser on Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by GURL » Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:44 pm


Images speak for themselves but there is an English version, too: http://www.zweibrueder.com/ENG/startseite_1024.php
Georges

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by snaefell » Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:27 pm


I am using a P7 from Zweibrüder and I can really recommend it.

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niddy
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by niddy » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:21 pm

Thanks for your help. Do you all have any examples of Virtual Tours done with strobe lights? I've done quite a few tours using HDR, but it would be helpful to have that option for external lighting for difficult situations. Great lighting, such as the shots here: http://www.davidpalermo.com/hospitality/hospitality.html can create a better looking image than simply using HDR. Obviously, in a Virtual Tour, the light would have to stay in the same spot and having a giant visible softbox in the shot wouldn't be too groovy. Castillonis said that having the light coming from a window would work; does anybody else have advice about where to put the lights?

Thanks!

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by hankkarl » Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:37 pm

niddy wrote:Thanks for your help. Do you all have any examples of Virtual Tours done with strobe lights? I've done quite a few tours using HDR, but it would be helpful to have that option for external lighting for difficult situations. Great lighting, such as the shots here: http://www.davidpalermo.com/hospitality/hospitality.html can create a better looking image than simply using HDR. Obviously, in a Virtual Tour, the light would have to stay in the same spot and having a giant visible softbox in the shot wouldn't be too groovy. Castillonis said that having the light coming from a window would work; does anybody else have advice about where to put the lights?

Thanks!

Try this: put the softbox behind the camera, or off to the side where it won't be in any of the pictures - the wider the lens, the smaller this area is. If you use an 8mm, 180 degree lens, you only have the 90 degrees behind the camera to put the softbox (the left, center and right pictures of what you're lighting have to have the right light). You then have to remove the softbox and shoot the overlap again, without it so that APP can blend the images.


Normally in a high end shoot, (IMO) you'll use a narrower lens.

In a pinch, you can light only one shot and erase the feature from the other layers, but this is lots of PSing.
Last edited by hankkarl on Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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